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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 01-10-10

Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus Mail at <http://www.cyprus-mail.com/>


Wednesday, October 10, 2001

CONTENTS

  • [01] CY air fares go up
  • [02] Bandler in security talks with Clerides
  • [03] Game wardens deny fight against poachers being scaled back
  • [04] Klerides upbeat on the economy
  • [05] Opposition coalition in trouble as December poll nears
  • [06] Local doctors plan Afghanistan aid trip
  • [07] War games to go ahead without Greece
  • [08] Five hectares of forest destroyed by fire

  • [01] CY air fares go up

    CYPRUS Airways (CY) said yesterday that air fares have gone up $10 (6.25 approximately) on a return ticket with immediate effect because of increased insurance costs to airlines.

    Immediately after the September 11 terrorist attack in New York, which involved four hijacked commercial aircraft, global air fares were raised $1.25 each way to cover insurance.

    CY did not implement the new fare at the time because the national carrier's insurance contract was up for renewal, which would have meant another increase within a short period.

    CY spokesman Tassos Angelis said the airline had npw received the new estimate, which constitutes a five-fold increase in insurance costs. This runs into millions of pounds,said. The new charges include the initial$1.25, Angelis added.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [02] Bandler in security talks with Clerides

    US AMBASSADOR Donald Bandler yesterday met President Glafcos Clerides to discuss detailed plans for heightened security, following the US strikes against Afghanistan.

    The government has given its unequivocal support to the US and Britain in the campaign against global terror. Last week the Cabinet opened Cyprus airspace and airports to the US Air Force.

    The US, the UK and other coalition countries have stepped up security for fear of retaliatory action from the Osama bin Ladenal Queda terrorist network.

    After his meeting at the Presidential Palace Bandler praised Cyprus for taking every necessary measure to help the US coalition. " Cyprus is doing all the right things to help us with this coalition effort,"he said.

    Bandler's discussions with Clerides focused on port, airport and embassy security, as well the financing of terrorism.

    Rumours reported in the media have claimed money manipulated by the bin Laden network might be in Cyprus. The Central Bank said last week that it had examined assets and accounts linked to 165 groups and individuals, but had so far found nothing related to bin Laden. A full report is due to be submitted to the UN by the beginning of next year.

    Bandler reiterated yesterday that it was " exceptionally important" to cut off the financial roots of terrorist activity.

    Speaking about the US-led war, he stressed that the US has great sympathy for the suffering of the Afghan people and stressed that Washington was not bent on a campaign against Islam, nor on a clash of rival civilisations.

    " This is a fight for civilisation,"he said. He said part of the campaign is to " make every effort to avoid any civilian casualties, providing humanitarian assistance at the same time" .

    The US is the largest provider of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, recently increasing its budget from $184 million to $504 million.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [03] Game wardens deny fight against poachers being scaled back

    By Jennie Matthew

    REPORTS that political pressure has prevented game wardens from arresting bird-trappers who set mist-nets and lime-sticks to ensnare millions of protected birds that migrate through Cyprus were denied yesterday.

    Despite the efforts of police and game wardens to crack down on the illegal practice earlier in the season, trapping nets and poles are still to be found in the Paralimni, Cape Greco and Larnaca area, where most birds are caught.

    Several community leaders support the poachers because ambellopoulia-the preserved birds -- are a Cyprus tradition and delicacy which provides an income for many families.

    The Game Warden Officer for Larnaca, Minas Papadopoulos, denied there had been instructions, political or otherwise, to scale down their activities.

    He said officers had been very active over the past month and would continue to be so until the season closes, at the end of October.

    "We're normally out every day and in the last two weeks we've had some additional work. Next week we're bringing in more people from Limassol and Nicosia to supplement those already working from Larnaca and Famagusta districts,"he said.

    According to Papadopoulos between 20 and 40 game wardens patrol the trapping areas during the height of the season, which lasts from the beginning of August to the end of October.

    He said a co-ordinated operation with SBA police two weeks ago arrested six suspected trappers, released around 300 birds, and confiscated 70 nets, along with some batteries and tape recorders.

    But one SBA source said yesterday that 70 nets was a meagre collection, compared to the 300 confiscated in the last raid before that.

    Another source claimed that the game wardens had given trappers prior notice as to when the operation would take place -giving them time to clear out and avoid losses.

    Asked about the situation, SBA spokesman Rob Need said that he was unable to comment about the actions of game wardens working for the Republic.

    "We apply the law. If an officer sees it then he can and should stop it. The nets are confiscated and destroyed unless they are retained for evidence,"he said.

    All ordinary SBA police patrols check for nets. Additional sting missions are carried out with the co-operation of the Game Service.

    Since the crackdown began at the beginning of April 50 trappers have been arrested and more than 4,000 lime-sticks and hundreds of nets have been confiscated -compared to around 1,500 lime-sticks last year.

    Convicted poachers face fines of up to 1,000.

    Bird trapping was outlawed in 1984, but the law has been implemented only patchily until this year.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [04] Klerides upbeat on the economy

    THE ECONOMY has not been affected by international developments yet, Finance Minister Takis Klerides told the House Commerce Committee yesterday.

    Klerides told the Committee that there were no signs of economic recession in the light of the US-led war on terrorism. He said that if the economy is affected at a later stage the government will increase spending on development projects to address the situation.

    The minister also used the meeting to clarify a statement he made last month after the September 11 terrorist attacks on the US, calling for financial restraint.

    Klerides came under fire from trade unions after he said that collective agreements might be affected by an emergency plan aimed at financial restraint in all sectors.

    My call was addressed to everyone, rich and poor, small and large companies, even to the government,said.

    Klerides said that the Cabinet would be briefed today by Commerce Minister Nicos Rolandis about any effects on tourism from international developments.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [05] Opposition coalition in trouble as December poll nears

    By Melina Demetriou

    OPPOSITION parties AKEL, DIKO and KISOS are still struggling to form a coalition to fight the municipal elections, now just two months away.

    The three parties formed an alliance for the December 16 elections to squeeze governing DISY out of the running, but communist AKEL, socialist KISOS and centrist DIKO are still trying to decide how to share the candidacies for the Paphos, Strovolos, Larnaca and Nicosia municipalities.

    The opposition plan is to share out a total of 23 mayoral posts.

    DISY last week made its move, backing Michalis Zambelas as candidate for Nicosia Mayor.

    This emerging co-operation is foggy,opposition source told the Cyprus Mail .

    AKEL, DIKO and KISOS agree that KISOS heavyweight Takis Hadjidemetriou is their best choice for candidate for Nicosia, said the source.

    But AKEL has suggested such an agreement with KISOS should provide that the socialist party does not keep all five mayoral posts it currently holds. Specifically, AKEL insists that KISOS should let go of one of its two major posts, Strovolos or Paphos,said.

    But KISOS is reluctant to let either of those posts go because the party's mayors -- Phidias Sarikas in Paphos and Savvas Iliophotou in Strovolos -- are both very popular, the source said.

    But there are other obstacles to the coalition being formed.

    DIKO says it will only back Hadjidemetriou if AKEL lets go of its Larnaca post so a DIKO candidate can run there. Otherwise, it may back a candidate of its own choice -- even if the other two parties support someone else in Nicosia,source said.

    AKEL, he added, is not prepared to relinquish the Larnaca post.

    The source said party interests might put the emerging coalition in jeopardy: If the parties don't work things out, imagine how many candidates there could be.

    If Hadjidemetriou does not stand as candidate for Nicosia Mayor Zambelas will almost certainly win, he said.

    The Cyprus Mailhas learned that DISY-backed Zambelas also enjoys the support of many senior and ordinary members of DIKO.

    If the opposition parties fail to form a successful coalition for the municipal elections they will certainly face difficulties forming a strong alliance for the Presidential elections in 2003, observers believe.

    AKEL received 34.7 per cent of the vote in the May parliamentary elections, against 34 per cent for DISY, DIKO 14.8 and KISOS just six per cent.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [06] Local doctors plan Afghanistan aid trip

    By Rita Kyriakides

    A GROUP of Cypriot doctors is preparing to travel to Afghanistan to provide medical services to any of those injured during American air strikes.

    A DISY deputy, Dr Eleni Theocharous, has been organising for the group of doctors to fly to the neighbouring country of Tajikistan from where they will enter Afghanistan.

    The doctors will take with them three containers filled with food and medical supplies, donated by humanitarian organisations based in Brussels, so they can treat any Afghans who have been hurt since the beginning of of the US-led offensive on Sunday night.

    The Cypriot doctors are currently raising funds to transport the containers to Afghanistan.

    Theocharous is in Brussels to attend European Council meetings but the other doctors will be departing for Afghanistan over the next few days.

    " We are ready and we will make it to Afghanistan to care for the people who need medical help,"said Theocharous.

    She said doctors from all over the world are trying to help the innocent people injured in Afghanistan.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [07] War games to go ahead without Greece

    By George Psyllides

    THE ANNUAL joint war games codenamed &#145;Nikiforos-Toxotis&#146;, will go ahead this year without the participation of Greek forces, as a result of the allied raids on Afghanistan.

    "It&#146;s an issue that we will examine along with the Cyprus government," Government Spokesman Demetris Reppas had said in Athens earlier yesterday. Cyprus Defence Minister Socratis Hasikos had repeatedly maintained that the exercise will be go ahead as planned by the army command. But last night it was reported that &#145;Nikiforos&#146; will proceed without military units from Greece because the parallel Greek exercise, &#145;Toxitis&#146;, was being postponed.

    The Nikiforos air, sea and land exercise is scheduled for between October 15 and 20.

    When Greece has taken part in the past, the exercise has caused tension with its traditional adversary -- and NATO ally -- Turkey, with warplanes from both sides often engaging in fierce &#145;mock&#146; dogfights over Cyprus and the Aegean Sea.

    The United States and Britain on Sunday launched missile and warplane attacks against Afghanistan for sheltering Saudi militant Osama bin Laden, considered to be the mastermind behind the September 11 attacks against New York and Washington D.C.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [08] Five hectares of forest destroyed by fire

    A FIRE near the village of Platres in the Troodos mountains yesterday destroyed five hectares of pine forest and wild shrub before it was brought under control two hours later.

    The blaze started at around 2pm in area of Karoudes near the village of Fini, and was blown in an easterly direction towards Platres.

    Fire-fighting forces scrambled to the area with 15 vehicles and 150 men, supported in the air by three helicopters, including the Mil-Mi 26 carrying 20 tonnes of water.

    A British bases engine also took part in the effort along with forces from the Game Department and the Limassol District administration.

    The fire was contained at around 3.20pm and brought under full control half an hour later.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001


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